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Viewing property

What to do when you're there

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Don't let the agent rush you. It is irrelevant how busy they are. If this is going to be your new home, you should take your time and view the property at your own pace. Make sure that you are aware of some of the tricks that lettings agents sometimes play to try to get you to move in. Find out about them here.

Try to be friendly to the landlord or agent. If you do end up renting from them then a good relationship can make things a bit smoother. You want to get things off to a good start rather than a bad one if at all possible.

What to check when you're there
You should really have a thorough look at everything. Pay particular attention to things like the appliances, lighting, heating and plumbing.

Here is a list of things to check whilst you're in the property:

  • The general state of repairs. If the whole thing is basically sound, but in need of a facelift, make sure you get the landlord to agree to make the alterations or that you can live with the state of the place as it is.

  • Check to see that the accommodation is secure. Make sure that the door locks work and any that are fitted to windows are of a good enough standard.

  • If it is furnished, check that the condition of the furniture is up to scratch.

  • The condition of the bathroom. Lots of limescale is a sign of hard water while discoloured patches can be an indication that the room is poorly ventilated.

  • The kitchen units.

  • The condition of the boiler and water pump.

  • The windows. Are they double glazed?

  • Check that all the appliances work. They may not do, even if they are listed in the inventory.

  • Check for damp and subsidence. Look out for cracks around the windows and doors, an uneven roofline musty sells, brand new paint or wallpaper (it could be concealing something) and feel the walls for signs of moisture. If this place scores on all fronts, then you may find that the place has to undergo major repair works whilst you are still living there.

  • Are there enough power points? If you're technology-friendly like we are, then you will need plenty of sockets for all your gadgetry.

  • Is there enough space? The way people set out their furniture can make it seem like there is more or less space than you will need.

  • Check out the state of some of the other houses on the street. They may give you a clue as to what the neighbours are like.

We welcome help and advice from our readers. If you have an idea of something to check when viewing a property, please let us know.

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